All Ph.D. candidates must concentrate first and foremost on American or European history, but can do so with a War and Society focus. Most Ph.D. students interested in the field will choose War & Society as one of their minor fields and write a dissertation with a War & Society emphasis. However, students must be prepared to teach the entirety of their dissertation major and minor fields. To be competitive in today’s academic job market, students must be historians first and War & Society/Military historians second.
A minimum of fifty-four (54) semester hours of course credit beyond the Masters degree is required, which includes historiography courses (HIS 720, HIS 725, HIS 726, HIS 781, HIS 782) relevant to the student’s major and minor fields, additional 600/700-level courses in the student’s major and minor areas, passing vigorous comprehensive exams in the major and two minor fields, and writing an original and persuasive dissertation. Ph.D. students must also have reading knowledge of two (2) foreign languages (or, for Americanists, one foreign language and an alternative “research tool”).